This story contains spoilers for the film “Me Before You.”
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Wisconsin woman is getting a lot of attention for a blog post she wrote criticizing Hollywood’s portrayal of people who are paralyzed.
Tasha Schuh was paralyzed from the chest down when she was 16. She went on to travel across the country giving speeches to other people who have become paralyzed on finding purpose and happiness.
Now she’s bringing that message to Hollywood.
Paralyzed characters are nothing new in Hollywood movies. From Denzel Washington in “The Bone Collector” to Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby,” the theme is often the same.
“They choose that they don’t want to live. They choose that life is not worth living,” Schuh said.
Which is why 35-year-old Schuh, a C5 quadriplegic, was excited to see “Me Before You” — the story of a man with quadriplegia who falls in love.
“The previews, it looks so much fun, it looks so positive and it really looked like it was going to have a good ending — a real life ending,” Schuh said.
But in the end, the man chooses to end his life.
Schuh shared her disappointment and her story in a blog post called “I am not suicidal.”
“I know what it’s like to feel hopeless,” she said.
Schuh was in high school when she fell through a trap door during a play rehearsal, falling 16 feet onto a concrete floor.
“They just came out right away and said, ‘You’re going to be a quadriplegic. You’re never going to walk again. You’re going to use a wheelchair for the rest of your life,’” Schuh said.
While she wouldn’t walk again, she did drive, get two bachelor degrees, get married and began speaking all over the country about her story.
“I always believe the best is yet to come, that there is hope. To not give up because I know tomorrow is a new day and that things will always get better,” Schuh said.
Schuh hopes Hollywood takes a hint, so that anyone who’s struggling has hope it gets better.
“I actually love my life more today than I did before the accident,” Schuh said. “Some people just think I say that to be inspirational but I promise you I’m thankful.”
Schuh said one of her mentors was longtime WCCO reporter Darcy Pohland who was a paraplegic. Pohland died in 2010.
To read Schuh’s blog post, click here.